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Table 1 The SPIDER framework

From: Working with patients suffering from chronic diseases can be a balancing act for health care professionals - a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies

Sample (S):We included studies addressing the experience of HCPs working with adults with chronic conditions, in which the relationship between the patient and HCP is assumed to be long-term. In this review, we focused on diabetes, COPD, and CKD. If a study included a subset of eligible participants (e.g. a mixed population, including participants with other health conditions), we only included it if we could analyze the disaggregated data for the eligible participants separately.
We excluded studies exploring any pre-existing phases of the three selected diseases, e.g. pre-diabetes, and those studies that included children aged 18 and younger.
Phenomenon of interest (PI):We included any empirical, qualitative studies exploring the experiences of the relationship between HCP and patients with the selected chronic conditions reported from the HCPs perspective. We also included studies addressing the HCPs’ feelings, attitudes, and perceptions, work satisfaction, or emotional burden regarding their relationship with these patients over time.
We excluded studies addressing other phenomena, such as experiences with patients’ use of specific treatments or interventions and those focusing on palliation.
Design (D):We included studies utilizing empirical qualitative research, including either individual or focus group interviews inspired by ethnography, narrative methods, phenomenology, grounded theory, observations, or qualitative interviews with no specific theoretical statements.
We excluded: quantitative designs, mixed methods studies, studies reporting results from both patients and HCPs, studies that did not address HCPs’ experiences working with patients with diabetes, COPD, or CKD, studies exploring the experiences of surgeons, pharmacists, or students (who were assumed to not have a long-term relationship with their patients), and studies that addressed HCPs experiences with specific interventions or treatments.
Evaluation (E):In all the qualitative studies, quotes from interviews of the HCPs had to be reported and analyzed qualitatively in the article for it to be included in the review.
Research type (R):We included all published qualitative research, with no language restrictions.
Grey literature, such as conference proceedings and non-peer reviewed articles, were excluded, as they lack quality, detail, and peer review. We also excluded systematic reviews and meta-syntheses, as well as masters and PhD theses.